Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl
Dr. Kimberly A. Schonert-Reichl is an Applied Developmental Psychologist and a Professor in the Human Development, Learning, and Culture area in the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is also the Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP), an interdisciplinary research unit focused on child development in the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. She received her MA in Educational Psychology from the University of Chicago, her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Iowa, and completed her postdoctoral work as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Fellow in the Clinical Research Training Program in Adolescence at the University of Chicago and the Department of Psychiatry at Northwestern University Medical School. Prior to her graduate work, Dr. Schonert-Reichl worked as a middle school teacher and then as a teacher at an alternative high school for “at risk” adolescents.
Known as a world renowned expert in the area of social and emotional learning (SEL), Dr. Schonert-Reichl’s research focuses on identification of the processes and mechanisms that foster positive human qualities such as empathy, compassion, altruism, and resiliency in children and adolescents. Her projects include studies examining the effectiveness of classroom-based universal SEL programs including such programs as the Roots of Empathy, MindUp, and the Kindness in the Classroom Curriculum. Dr. Schonert-Reichl is also conducting interdisciplinary research in collaboration with neuroscientists, psychobiologists, and molecular geneticists to examine the ways in which school-based preventative SEL interventions “get under the skin” and result in changes in self-regulation and biological processes (including stress physiology and epigenetic change) among children in typical classroom settings. She has led the development of the implementation of the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI), a child self-report population measure of 4th and 7th grade children’s social, emotional, and physical health, well-being, and developmental assets inside and outside of school. To date, over 150,00 children have completed the MDI in British Columbia and in several provinces across Canada. The MDI is also being implemented in Australia, Germany, the UK, and Croatia, and work is currently underway for MDI implementation in the US.